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South Africa beat New Zealand to win back-to-back Rugby World Cups

todayOctober 29, 2023 3

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South Africa beat New Zealand to win back-to-back Rugby World Cups

South Africa have made it back-to-back Rugby World Cup wins with victory over New Zealand.

The Springboks retained the Webb Ellis Cup after a thrilling 12-11 win over the All Blacks in the final at the Stade de France in Paris.

It means back-to-back wins for South Africa, who triumphed over England in the 2019 final in Japan.

And with four tournament wins to their name, the Springboks are now outright the most successful team in Rugby World Cup history – a title they previously shared with New Zealand.

Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2023 - Final - New Zealand v South Africa - Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France - October 28, 2023 South Africa's Jesse Kriel celebrates after winning the world cup final REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

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South Africa’s Jesse Kriel celebrates after winning the 2023 Rugby World Cup final

Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2023 - Final - New Zealand v South Africa - Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France - October 28, 2023 South Africa's Cheslin Kolbe celebrates with a flag after winning the world cup final REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

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South Africa’s Cheslin Kolbe celebrates

A red card for New Zealand captain Sam Cane – the first in a Rugby World Cup final – for a high tackle, and four kicks from Handre Pollard, gave South Africa the first half advantage.

Despite being a man down, the All Blacks launched a spirited fightback in the second half, pulling to within a point with a try from Beauden Barrett.

His brother, Jordie Barrett, then had a chance to complete a famous comeback victory for New Zealand – but missed a long-range penalty late on.

South Africa, who lost Cheslin Kolbe to a sin bin for a deliberate knock-on as the final whistle drew near, then stood firm in the face of late pressure from New Zealand to secure a narrow – and historic – victory.

Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2023 - Final - South Africa fans watch New Zealand v South Africa - Cape Town, South Africa - October 28, 2023 Fans celebrate in Cape Town after South Africa win the world cup final REUTERS/Esa Alexander

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Fans celebrate in Cape Town after South Africa win the Rugby World Cup


Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2023 - Final - South Africa fans watch New Zealand v South Africa - Cape Town, South Africa - October 28, 2023 Fans celebrate in Cape Town after South Africa win the world cup final REUTERS/Esa Alexander

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The win means the Springboks remain unbeaten in Rugby World Cup finals – two of which have been won against their great Southern Hemisphere rivals, New Zealand.

They previously beat the All Blacks in 1995 in a narrow 15-12 extra-time win in Johannesburg – their first Rugby World Cup title.

The Springboks then beat England 15-6 in the 2007 final to win their second trophy.

Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2023 - Final - New Zealand v South Africa - Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France - October 28, 2023 New Zealand's Rieko Ioane and teammates look dejected after the match REUTERS/Stephanie Lecocq

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A dejected New Zealand team following the final whistle


Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2023 - Final - New Zealand v South Africa - Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France - October 28, 2023 French President Emmanuel Macron presents New Zealand's Sam Whitelock with his runners up medal after the match REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

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French President Emmanuel Macron presents New Zealand’s Sam Whitelock with his runners-up medal

Their third – and the first of their consecutive Webb Ellis Cup wins – came against England in the last Rugby World Cup – the 2019 tournament in Japan.

New Zealand are the only other team to have won consecutive Rugby World Cups, with victories in 2011 and 2015.

England, who lost to South Africa by a point in the semi-finals of this year’s tournament, finished third by beating Argentina 26-23 in the play-off match on Friday night.

Written by: Newsroom

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